Social Media Impact On Real Estate
By Melissa Riley
The real estate business has been transformed by technology, specifically by social media sites. Consumers are searching online for information and resources during the increasingly complicated real estate process. They are also sharing content and opinions before, during and after their real estate transaction.
The Internet and how people use it has changed drastically over the past five years. There has been an explosion of social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube commonly referred to as known as “web 2.0”. These platforms, along with others give users the power to create, collaborate, and share content online, forever altering how consumers gather information and make choices on products and services.
The 2012 Pew Internet Study cites that “66% of online adults are using social networking sites.” Usage varies depending on age group ranging from 18-29 year (86%), 30-49 year olds (72%), 50-64 year olds (50%) and 65+ year olds (34%).
The positive social impact of these sites is building close social ties, developing more trusting relationships and community engagement.
Having access to more unfiltered information, real-time search capabilities and instantaneous access to their real estate professionals is now part of the norm. Information for buying or selling decisions can be shared across social media platforms, making this process more collaborative. Specifically, younger generations tend to share information and consider opinions of their peers during their decision-making process.
Traditionally, many consumers choose their real estate service provider based upon a referral from a trusted friend or family member due to the fact that testimonials and endorsements from a third party have more weight and creditability. Social media gives consumers a platform to openly review services and share their experiences with those whose opinions they value.
Trust, reputation, and market knowledge still factor into these choices and social media can greatly amplify that feedback. For these consumers an agent’s online presence (or lack thereof) factors into the decision to hire them, today’s consumers want an agent who is keeping with the times and technologically savvy.
Ironically, listening is the first step for a real estate service professional to remain relevant to their clients. Social media sites provide a platform to easily disseminate valuable, and timely information. It’s also an opportunity to engage and interact with clients who may have questions.
Expect social media usage to continue to grow and be an integral part of the real estate process with clients. Increased usage of social media is anticipated as another tool for real estate companies to build upon their trusting relationships, create even better connections, and enable them to provide more resources for their clients.
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